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Legal Statutes: Delaware

UPDATED April 12, 2017

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Subchapter II. Jurisdiction and Powers

back to top§ 925. General jurisdiction

The Court and each Judge shall have authority to:

(1) Conserve the peace;

(2) Commit or bind, with or without surety, as a committing magistrate, for appearance at the proper court, persons charged with having violated the law together with material witnesses and impose conditions as set forth in § 1021 of this title;

(3) Determine and punish civil and criminal contempt;

(4) Issue process for the exercise of its jurisdiction and require service thereof under pain of contempt;

(5) Receive, hear, and make recommendations concerning matters assigned to it by any state or municipal court. Such recommendations shall be certified to the assigning court;

(6) Transfer for good cause any proceeding from the Court in one county to the Court in any other county;

(7) Enter, proceed on, and satisfy in the name of the State any forfeited bond, provided however, that the proceeds of any bond forfeited for a party's failure to appear in any civil or criminal child support proceeding shall be paid over to the payee of the child support order and applied to the child support account;

(8) Sit separately or jointly with any or all other Judges;

(9) Hear, determine, render, and enforce judgment in any proceeding before the Court;

(10) Assess fees, costs, and fines; or remit them in proper cases;

(11) After due notice to interested parties, review, revise, or revoke any prior order of the Court with reference to the custody, control, care, support or visitation of any person, or in any proceeding where failure to do so would result in manifest injustice;

(12) Punish for contempt any person who, in order to evade the Court's jurisdiction, removed from the State any child concerning whose possession, custody, or alleged unlawful detention, a writ of habeas corpus or other proceeding has been filed;

(13) Administer oaths and take acknowledgments;

(14) Appoint guardians ad litem;

(15) In any civil action where jurisdiction is otherwise conferred upon the Family Court, it may enter such orders against any party to the action as the principles of equity appear to require.

(16) To appoint guardians of the person over minors under 18 years of age;

(17) Appoint attorneys and/or Court-Appointed Special Advocates to serve as guardians ad litem to represent the best interests of a child in any child welfare proceeding;

(18) Determine and enter disposition for alleged violations of probation by juveniles in accordance with the procedures established at § 4334 of Title 11. The term Commissioner or any probation counselor as used in § 4334 of Title 11 shall include the appropriate member of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families;

(19) Decide appeals from administrative hearings of substantiated cases of abuse or neglect made pursuant to 16 Del. C. § 902A(d), and to decide appeals made pursuant to 16 Del. C. § 902A(g) for orders of administrative expungement of substantiation for the purpose of no longer reporting an individual's name pursuant to 11 Del. C. § 8563(b);

(20) In a civil proceeding involving the welfare of a minor child or the safety of a party, require any party or any other resident of the party’s household or other person with regular direct access to the child, to submit to a state and federal background check.

a. The background check shall consist of:

1. A report of the individual’s entire criminal history record from the Delaware State Police or a statement from the Delaware State Police that the State Police Central Repository contains no such information relating to that person.

2. A report of the individual’s entire federal criminal history record pursuant to the Federal Bureau of Investigation appropriation of Title II of Public Law 92-544. The Division of State Police shall be the intermediary for the purposes of this paragraph.

3. A certification from the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families as to whether the individual is named in the Central Register as the perpetrator of a report of child abuse.

b. Costs associated with obtaining said criminal history information and child abuse registry information shall be borne by the State.

c. The court at any stage in the proceeding may take judicial notice of any report, record or certification described in this paragraph (20).
58 Laws 1971, ch. 114, § 1; 63 Laws 1981, ch. 133, § 1; 65 Laws 1985, ch. 95, § 2; 65 Laws 1985, ch. 190, § 1; 66 Laws 1988, ch. 300, § 1; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 449, § 1, eff. July 5, 1996; 72 Laws 2000, ch. 451, § 1, eff. July 18, 2000; 72 Laws 2000, ch. 469, § 5, eff. April 1, 2001; 77 Laws 2009, ch. 122, § 1, eff. July 8, 2009.